Dog friendly spots on the Sapphire Coast

Dog friendly spots on the Sapphire Coast

Written by Camille Hartnett Owner of Trail Sniffers Dog Behaviour and Training 


I know that I am not alone when I say that I consider my dog Jeffrey to be a part of the family and that visiting these places without him just wouldn’t be the same.

Jeffrey is dog reactive, yes that makes it challenging at times but I believe (and I know Jeff would too) that's not a god enough excuse to not go out and explore and adventure together.

I love nothing more than to watch him frolicking and enjoying the new sites and smells. I lead a busy life and tend to not allow myself time to " stop and smell the flowers" - Jeffrey helps me to appreciate the smaller things and together we get to unwind, smell all the smells and jto just be and enjoy mother nature.

Jeffrey and I are blessed to live on the magical Sapphire Coast, NSW. We live in a little costal town called Merimbula. The town explodes with dog friendly accommodation, cafes and beaches. Whether it is Summer, Winter, raining or gloriously sunny you will be able to adventure with your best fur friend all year around.

Jeff and I would like to share some of our favourite places to adventure in the hopes that you may also get to explore them with your dog one day. (For our reactive or anxious dog friends please not the which shows that these locations may be more appropriate than others given the space , entry and exit points and popularity.

So if you are planning to head to the Far South Coast towns of Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula, Pambula or Eden with your dog get ready to plan some wonderful doggie adventures.


For reactive dogs, it's important to prioritize their comfort and safety while still providing opportunities for them to enjoy outings. Here are some dog-friendly places on the South Coast of NSW near Merimbula that are suitable for reactive dogs:

  1. Bega River and Mogareeka Inlet: Both the Bega River and Mogareeka Inlet offer quieter and more secluded areas for you to explore with your reactive dog. These spots provide opportunities for on-leash walks along the riverbanks, where your dog can still enjoy the sights and sounds of nature without being overwhelmed by crowds.

  2. Pambula Wetlands and Reserve: The Pambula Wetlands and Reserve have a variety of walking trails that meander through natural surroundings. These trails often have fewer visitors compared to more popular areas, providing a more peaceful environment for reactive dogs. Keep your dog on a leash and enjoy a quiet walk together, allowing them to experience nature at their own pace.

  3. Quiet Beaches: While many beaches in the area have restrictions for dogs, you can still find quieter beaches where you can take your reactive dog for a peaceful walk. Look for smaller or less-frequented beaches in the region and check local regulations regarding dog access. Keep your dog on a leash and be aware of any other beachgoers or wildlife in the area.

Remember, when visiting these places with a reactive dog, it's essential to be aware of your dog's triggers and comfort levels. Keep them on a leash and maintain a safe distance from other people and animals. If needed, consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance on managing your dog's reactivity and creating positive experiences during outings.

Always prioritize your dog's well-being and ensure their interactions with the environment are positive and stress-free.


Other beautiful spots to check out with your dog - 

  1. Short Point Beach: Short Point Beach, located just south of Merimbula, is a beautiful spot where you can enjoy a day in the sun with your furry friend. Dogs are allowed off-leash on this beach, but it's worth noting that there are restrictions during peak summer months.

  2. Tura Beach: Tura Beach, a short drive north of Merimbula, offers a long stretch of coastline where dogs are permitted on-leash. Take a leisurely stroll with your pup and soak in the stunning views.

  3. Merimbula Main Beach: While dogs are not allowed on Merimbula Main Beach itself, there is a designated off-leash area adjacent to the beach. Your furry friend can have a blast running and playing freely in the designated zone.

  4. Mitchies Jetty Reserve: Located near Merimbula Lake, Mitchies Jetty Reserve provides a peaceful setting for a picnic or a gentle walk with your pup. Dogs are allowed on-leash in this area, making it a serene spot to relax together.

  5. Pambula River Mouth: Just a short distance from Merimbula, the Pambula River Mouth is a picturesque location where dogs are permitted on-leash. Take a stroll along the riverbank and enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful spot.

  6. Panboola Wetlands: Panboola Wetlands, situated in Pambula, offers scenic walking trails surrounded by nature. Dogs are welcome on-leash, allowing you to explore the wetlands and enjoy the abundant birdlife together.

Remember to always be mindful of local regulations and guidelines when visiting these areas with your dog. It's also important to clean up after your furry friend and ensure they are well-behaved and respectful of other visitors and wildlife.

Enjoy your adventures with your canine companion along the stunning South Coast of NSW near Merimbula!

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